According to Deadline, Netflix is close to picking up Taika Waititi’s movie about Michael Jackson’s pet chimpanzee, Bubbles. In what would be the first major acquisition to come out of the Cannes Film Festival, Deadline’s Mike Fleming reports the streaming service could end up plunking down around $20 million for the heavily bid on film, the script for which topped 2015’s Hollywood Black List of acclaimed screenplays.
Waititi, of Thor: Ragnorok and What We Do In The Shadows fame, is set to co-direct this stop-motion animated film about Jackson’s primate companion with Mark Gustafson, who served as Wes Anderson’s animation director on Fantastic Mr. Fox. Dan Harmon is producing via his animation studio, Starburns Industries.
Waititi previously downplayed the idea that the movie would be a straight biopic of either the chimp or his iconic owner. “I want to focus on telling a story that blends fact and fantasy, about an animal trying to make sense of the world,” he said. “This film is not about Michael Jackson because that’s not a story for me to tell—or a story I’d be comfortable telling—it’s about a chimpanzee’s fascinating journey through the complex jungle of human life.”